Terry Kelly Young People’s Poetry Award

The Terry Kelly Young People’s Poetry Award is a competition which invites young people under the age of 25 to submit poems of any length and any subject. This year, there were 3 categories including Under 11’s, 12-16’s and 17-25’s.  The entries closed on the 14 May and the winners were announced on the 31st May at The Customs House where they received cash prizes and certificates.

The winners were then invited to the closing performance as part of our WRITE Festival 2017 to perform their poems.

Under 11’s Winner

The boats go out to sea

by Charlotte Macmillan, 6

The boats go out to the
swirling sparkly blue sea
passing the lighthouse
on the rocks

People fishing on the
jetty waving goodbye

Seagulls making lots of
noise as people pass by

When the moon rises
the light will shine
to show you the way
back to the Tyne


12-16’s Winner

‘eat yellow paint’

by Morgan Place, 16

I’m on a diet of yellow paint to make my interiors happy, so I’d love it if you’d stop throwing your blue paint at me.
You look pretty green to me, but your heart seems rather grey, I’ve never seen such a thing, is your heart in a state of decay?
Maybe this is all just purple, and my yellow diet just won’t work, perhaps adding some other colours to my meals won’t hurt;
But no colours are as happy as yellow, at least that’s what I’ve been told, blue is such a sad colour, and grey tells me you’re old.
So I’ll keep to my diet of yellow paint and hope it cures my sadness, I fear adding any other colours will but feed this madness.

17-25’s Winner


by Lauren Aspery, 19

The silence throbbed
with the memories
of her life so far.
All she had ever known
was in that house.

Each wall knew
the after-argument thoughts
muttered under her breath
and saw the mess she had made –

The coffee rings on countertops,
the crumbs swept under the table,
the empty bottles in the shower
and the bulbs left unreplaced.

The faded laughter
of forgotten moments
echoed in her mind,
but she couldn’t bring herself to listen.

She turned to leave,
Taking one last glance at
what she was leaving behind.

Download the anthology


You can also get a hard copy of the anthology by visiting The Word.